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Villagers fighting plan for 100m-high turbines  

A group of worried Mid Devon residents are joining forces to launch a campaign group to fight proposals to site a wind farm on land at Witheridge.

A meeting will be held on Friday in the parish hall where concerned villagers will be discussing ways of opposing the scheme.

Nuon Renewables, a Holland-based company, is currently investigating whether to put up four 100m-high turbines at Pilliven Farm, Witheridge.

Among those living closest to the site are Jessie and David Morton, who live at neighbouring Foxdown Farm, Witheridge.

A month ago, environmental scientists from consultant Faber Maunsell installed 5ft-high microphones in a number of gardens in the area, including the Mortons’. The data from them will be used as part of the scoping assessment.

From the initial plans they have seen, the couple estimate that the nearest turbine would be around 600m from their property.

Mrs Morton said: “Although we may all want green energy, these monsters are not what they may seem.

“They are grossly inefficient and intrusive and they would change the local landscape forever.”

Nuon describes itself as a leading, independent, international group focused on developing world-class renewable energy projects.

The firm’s website lists eight projects across the UK which are already at a later stage of development.

The site also says: “Nuon Renewables is actively looking for landowners and farmers to partner on further wind projects throughout the UK.

“A wind farm offers landowners and farmers an opportunity to diversify and create an additional long-term income supporting their stewardship of the land and enhancing the local economy.”

Rowena Ball, who lives on a farm about a mile from the nearest proposed turbine, said news of the scheme had been a “tremendous shock” to local people.

She said: “These turbines would be extremely large – 100m is hard to imagine, unless you get Linford Christie to run it.

“The tallest things we are used to in the Devon countryside are oak or ash trees which these turbines would dwarf. They would be totally out of scale with the area.

“I have been enjoying my view here for 20 years. One of the reasons we came here was for the enjoyment of the quiet countryside life.”

Mrs Ball said she was also concerned about industrial turbines in an agricultural setting and about the noise of the blades.

The Stop Pilliven Industrial Turbines (SPIT) action group meeting will take place in the parish hall on Friday from 7.30pm.

Western Morning News

8 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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